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Open AccessFeature PaperCommentary

How to Think Rationally about World Problems

Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development, University of Toronto, 252 Bloor St. West, Toronto, ON M5S 1V6, Canada
Received: 27 February 2018 / Revised: 11 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
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Abstract

I agree with the target essay that psychology has something to offer in helping to address societal problems. Intelligence has helped meliorate some social problems throughout history, including the period of time that is covered by the Flynn effect, but I agree with Sternberg that other psychological characteristics may be contributing as well, particularly increases in rationality. I also believe that increasing human rationality could have a variety of positive societal affects at levels somewhat smaller in grain size than the societal problems that Sternberg focuses on. Some of the societal problems that Sternberg lists, however, I do not think would be remedied by increases in rationality, intelligence, or wisdom, because remedy might be the wrong word in the context of these issues. Issues such as how much inequality of income to tolerate, how much pollution to tolerate, and how much we should sacrifice economic growth for potential future changes in global temperature represent issues of clashing values, not the inability to process information, nor the lack of information, nor the failure to show wisdom. View Full-Text
Keywords: rationality; intelligence; world problems; meliorism rationality; intelligence; world problems; meliorism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Stanovich, K.E. How to Think Rationally about World Problems. J. Intell. 2018, 6, 25.

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